Action-packed line-up and content for 2019 show includes sessions from Jan Konetzki, Heidi Bjerkan, Gabe Cook, Garrett Oliver, Tom Oliver and more.
Imbibe Live, the UK’s leading on-trade drinks event, has announced its feature line-up to mark the show’s 10th anniversary. From a Pol Roger Vintage Champagne Masterclass to a Beer vs Cider Smackdown, Imbibe Live will offer attendees access to unrivalled industry insights across seven sector-specific theatres, all curated in partnership with Imbibe Live’s industry ambassadors: Monica Berg, Christine Parkinson, Mitch Adams, and Tom Oliver.
Celebrating 10 years at the forefront of on-trade trends, Imbibe Live has sought to provide a line-up like no other, having cherry-picked experts from across the hospitality industry. With invaluable insights from some of the most exciting names in the industry, attendees will also have the chance to take advantage of some unique interactive experiences and delectable tastings throughout the show.
Brand new for 2019, the new Industry Matters theatre will explore some of the most significant challenges and trends facing the industry at the moment, from mental health and gender equality to sustainability in the on-trade environment. A selection of expert speakers will be on hand to share their knowledge and give out practical advice for those starting out in the trade, and industry veterans looking to improve the working environment.
One of many highlights will include The Benevolent’s Chris Baker and Everyday People’s corporate wellbeing specialist Kat Hounsell, who will identify the difficulties experienced in the on-trade and present practical solutions to address the problems surrounding mental health in the workplace. As well as stigma around mental health, our society no longer accepts gender imbalance. That’s why Maria Canabal, Founder of Parabere Forum will be discussing how professionals in the industry can drive more balance into the industry. And, while Imbibe might be celebrating its 10th anniversary, Lucy Britner will be looking ahead with guest panellists to unravel what the future has to hold for the drinks industry.
This year’s show will also play host to a brand new theatre dedicated entirely to flight tastings in The Tasting Room. Visitors will be able to refine their palates and improve their knowledge of key and growing categories. To provide a taste of this year’s features, attendees can learn more about Palate Training with Imbibe’s Sommelier of the Year 2019 Jan Konetzki, Marginal Gains with Imbibe’s Educator of the Year 2019 and Director of The Mixing Class Hannah Lanfear, Methode Champagnoise Cider and a very special presentation in association with Pernod Ricard, on how to capture the no/low category.
Another new and exciting addition at Imbibe Live is the Chef’s Table theatre, featuring a programme of in-depth and unique food and drink pairings covering the entire drinks spectrum. In association with Wine Australia, the much-anticipated Great Aussie Taste-off! will be making an appearance on the first day of the show, with an action-packed food matching contest between Sam Caporn MW and Clément Robert MS. The duo will be tasked with choosing wines they believe are best matched to a selection of dishes created by Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn. Making the session even more exciting, the winner will be chosen by the audience.
James Fowler of the award-winning Terroir Tapas in Bournemouth will bring his expertise to the Chef’s Table, by sharing his in-depth knowledge of seasonality in British cuisine and how to use food and drink pairing to the best effect. Another highly anticipated session will be Imbibe Live’s Seriously Vegan Masterclass, where Gauthier Soho’s head sommelier David Havlik will discuss his approach to pairing wines with chef Alexis Gauthier’s acclaimed vegan tasting menu.
For any great food menu, there must be an equally impressive wine menu to match. That’s why Imbibe Live is bringing back the ever-popular Winemaker’s Cellar, a space dedicated to exclusive tutored tastings for sommeliers and senior wine pourers. Master of Wine, Anne McHale, will explore an underrated, competitively priced and versatile wine currently gaining international recognition on the modern-day wine lists – Gamay. She will be presenting an insightful comparative tasting of different expressions of Gamay from Beaujolais, Burgundy and the New World. The Winemaker’s Cellar will also be the focal point for the discussion around the growing popularity of English wines in: Beyond the Bubbles.
Another favourite over the years, the Beer & Cider Hub, will be making a return with hosts Beer Ambassador Mitch Adams and Cider Ambassador Tom Oliver, along with some of the industry’s finest talent to showcase some of the world’s most special brews.
Joining the line-up, Garret Oliver, industry legend and Brooklyn Brewery’s infamously debonair brewmaster, will demonstrate how those special supplementary ingredients in brewing can make all the difference. Wild Card Brewery’s Head Brewer, Jaega Wise, will host the Beer to Dine for feature, in which she will discuss how to create a killer beer list with the help of SIBA’s 2019 Craft Beer Restaurant Award winner, Curry Leaf’s Stewart Cumming.
While Gabe Cook, The Ciderologist, will join Tom Oliver in the Journey to the Edge of the Beer & Cider Universe, to discuss the crossover between beer and cider: where imagination and fermentation run wild. Over the course of the show, visitors will also have the chance to learn how to deal with the unpredictable nature of cask ale, how to wow customers with a winning cider list and what the future has in store for the industry.
Imbibe Live’s Centre Stage will also return to the show this year to provide the beating heart of the show, with competition finals, tastings and demos to keep visitors captivated throughout the entire show. An absolute must-see this year will be Imbibe’s Bartenders vs Sommeliers feature – now in its final year. Over the last ten years, results have led to a five-all draw and so this year’s show will provide the ultimate stand-off, with the winner being able to claim the title for the decade-long contest.
The Cocktail Lounge will also return with its action-packed mixology lab, a dynamic line-up of talks and interactive masterclasses presented by the on-trade’s finest. For those of a wine persuasion, they will have the chance to stop by The Wine Bar and learn from wine producers while sampling an exciting range of wines from the world’s best small producers.
For the first time, Imbibe Live will also be co-located with inaugural event, The Snack Show. Demonstrating diversity, innovation and great taste, the Snack Show is a one-of-a kind exhibition that brings together manufacturers and buyers from the snacks business and connects them with the wider hospitality industry as they work together to add value to the consumer experience.